An item several months ago from the blog of Graham Harman (who teaches philosophy at the American University in Cairo) is illustrative--it is an alleged "reader e-mail" which Mr. Harman saw fit to post:
[W]hat’s become a more interesting story is the way that [Leiter has] also become a medium for a very specific model of anglophone philosophy that is dismissive of all forms of history of philosophy, metaphysics, pragmatism, continental philosophy, philosophy of art, etc. i imagine there must be major grumblings in other subfields”
The "more interesting story" it seems to me is how Party-Line Continentals like Mr. Harman and his "reader" are simply unconstrained by any facts about what I actually write, teach or believe in ascribing views to me about "philosophy" which I obviously don't hold. Even the PGR gives extensive coverage to "history of philosophy, metaphysics, pragmatism, continental philosophy, philosophy of art" and even "etc," if by that one means the rest of philosophy from logic to medieval philosophy to applied ethics. Harman et al. are a bit like the Tea Party when it comes to Obama: they simply project on to the object of their ire all their paranoid obsessions, the facts be damned.
UPDATE: Harman is apparently associated with a make-believe philosophical "movement" that calls itself "speculative realism," and which is described by Ray Brassiers (who teaches philosophy at the American University in Beirut) quite amusingly as follows:
The ‘speculative realist movement’ exists only in the imaginations of a group of bloggers promoting an agenda for which I have no sympathy whatsoever: actor-network theory spiced with pan-psychist metaphysics and morsels of process philosophy. I don’t believe the internet is an appropriate medium for serious philosophical debate; nor do I believe it is acceptable to try to concoct a philosophical movement online by using blogs to exploit the misguided enthusiasm of impressionable graduate students. I agree with Deleuze’s remark that ultimately the most basic task of philosophy is to impede stupidity, so I see little philosophical merit in a ‘movement’ whose most signal achievement thus far is to have generated an online orgy of stupidity.
We, in fact, had a brief encounter with one part of this "online orgy of stupidity" awhile back (you have to read into the comments to get the full flavor of the sophomoric confusions at work here).
AND ANOTHER: This won't really be news, I guess, but Jon Cogburn (Louisiana State) really is clueless, not only about the quality of philosophical work and about SPEP, but even about the department where he was an undergraduate, UT Austin (the "rapprochement" between some of the awful SPEP-types there at that time like Louis Mackey and Kelly Oliver and the idiosyncratic Bergmannians like Allaire and Hochberg, exists only in his imagination). Most remarkable, though, is the non-reply by this silly Graham Harman person (to which Cogburn, given his lack of judgment, links), who writes as though the issue is that I'm unaware of the ressentiment of his ilk (and conservative Chrsitians, and Randians and all the rest), as opposed to the fact that he posted a series of fabrications about me. Mr. Harman is apparently well-known for his "passive-aggressive" blogging style, and this, as well as the original item, certainly fits the pattern. Tiresome.
Cogburn writes, "I just don't understand why we can't do our own projects without having to define ourselves so much in terms of what we don't like." I just don't understand why Cogburn thinks this has anything to do with my complaints about Party-Line Continentalism and SPEP. How hard is it to understand that some crap is pernicious crap and deserves to be adjudged as such, for the sake of students and for those not familiar with it? Why can't Cogburn just say he doesn't share my judgment (of course, he wouldn't), instead of attributing to me fake purposes? Just "stop it," Jon. I have no intention of withdrawing my (correct) assessment of the largely pernicious effect SPEP has on the perception of the Continental traditions in post-Kantian philosophy in Europe. Perhaps because you're an outsider to so much of this work, you don't realize the nature of the problem.